Mosman in the 70’s was a great community. Our big family lived in Belmont Road opposite the primary school. There was no social class, no haves or have nots. The neighbourhood was made up of school friends, family friends, soccer friends, scout friends, and just street friends. We rode our bikes everywhere.
Many a long hot summer afternoon was spent riding our skateboards down the concrete hill of the primary school. Watching the big kids do their dare-devil stunts; being massively injured trying to repeat them. (How hard can it be to do a handstand on a 30cm piece of plastic as it hurtles down a hill at about 40km an hour, anyway?) I remember we were always trying to be cool in front of the girls and being annoyed that the girls only ever seemed to be interested in the dare-devil big kids.
We were lucky to have a pool and summer was spent with a never ending rotation of kids coming over for a swim, a skate across the road, and then another swim.
In about 1974 the dog had a big litter of pups and Dad sold them and bought a colour television! That summer holidays was spent glued to the tele. Hogans Heroes, Gilligans Island, War movies. The boredom.
I got an after school/ weekend job at the Regal milk bar on Military Road. $2 an hour. This was Jim the Greeks milk bar, next to Franklins supermarket. My mates would come in a loiter around, buying smokes and milkshakes. Kids would jump the back fence and try to steal the soft drink bottles because they had a 5c refund on them. Jim’s wife didn’t speak English and her two sons were about 3 years younger than me but spent their entire life working out how to play tricks on me.
Before that I washed up dishes at the Indian restaurant opposite the KFC at Spit Junction. $2 a night!
My brothers and sister had friends all over the place. The Petaras’s owned the deli; the Segreto’s owned the fruit shop. My mate Robert’s mum, Marjorie, was an actual descendent of the Mosmans. My mate Andrew’s mum was a TV star on No. 96. Some dads worked in business, the arts, the banks.. it was a real mixed bag. We went to scouts at Balmoral Beach, learning to sail. We played soccer at Balmoral oval and Mosman Oval. Brett Borders brother became captain of Australia’s cricket team!
I was 15 when a few of us got together to run some dances at the Mosman High hall. It was $2 to see 3 punk bands, the rugby team were the bouncers. 600 kids came! Then I found music, motorbikes and girlfriends.. I got drunk at the Mosman Hotel seeing new wave bands – yes… Midnight Oil, Spy Vs Spy, The Models.
It didn’t seem so unusual at the time but growing up in Mosman as a teenager in the 70’s was a great experience.
What a lovely story Brian. I left Mosman high in 1970. You jogged my memory about many things. Perhaps you could dig out some photos from the time and insert them in your post. Growing up in Muston St , Mosman Junction was the locus of my childhood world. I rarely ventured all the way up to Spit Junction! It seemed a world away.